We Are Scientists Talk About Their Upcoming Spatter Analysis Tour

We Are Scientists are stopping by Johnny Brenda’s in Philly on October 4th as a part of their Spatter Analysis Tour, with Surfer Blood as their co-headliners. The band, which is made up of Keith Murray on guitar and vocals, Chris Cain on bass, and Andy Burrows on drums, have been making lots of music that consists of extremely catchy hooks, really powerful guitar and bass, and have obvious high energy that can be sensed in many of their songs, especially “Dumb Luck,” which is off of their most recent album TV En Français. You can watch the video for the single here:

Chris Cain chatted with Rock On Philly about the band and how it came to be, their musical influences, their new album, and their upcoming tour and tour mates.

If you want to see We Are Scientists in action, they’ll be at Johnny Brenda’s this Saturday, October 4th! Tickets can be purchased here.

Rock On Philly: So how did the band come to be?

Chris Cain: It came to be as a time-filler, really. The singer, Keith Murray, and I met each other in college in Spring of 1999 and we moved to San Francisco together along with another college friend. The three of us were living in a house in Berkeley in the Fall of ’99 and we had our first real jobs, office jobs, you know, and we were sort of recently divorced from the incredibly easy rhythm of social life in college. We found ourselves with these quiet evenings that needed to be filled and decided to start a band. I actually had never played an instrument at the time, so Keith taught me to play bass. We just kind of hung out in the basement every evening and d*cked around.

ROP: What are the band’s musical influences?

CC: Let’s see..It would be difficult to list them all and definitely impossible to really rank them or assign them, but I’ll give a couple that I know have influenced us: Weezer has definitely influenced us, Velvet Underground definitely influenced us, Fleetwood Mac, and an early Jimmy Eat World.

ROP: Why early Jimmy Eat World?

CC: Well really, just specifically the album Clarity because that was a huge album for Keith and me when we were in college, and I think just the harmonies on it and some of the guitar tones — at the time, it was gigantic for us. I don’t think we write anything that sounds like that.

ROP: What makes TV En Français different from Barbara?

CC: The most tangible difference is the making of the record is probably that we recorded it all in New York, which we’d never done before. Even though we’ve lived in New York since 2001, we’ve recorded all of our albums elsewhere, so this is the first time we recorded in our hometown, which I think has a pretty big effect on our vibe and our daily lives in the studio. This is the first record that we’ve recorded with Chris Coady, who produced this record. He actually engineered our second record and did a couple of days on engineering on our third record, but he had never produced. We had always worked with producer Ariel Rechtshaid on our previous records, so this is the first time not working with Ariel. I think that it had a huge effect on — he criticized not only a very specific, interesting palette of sounds as an engineer and a very strong set of preferences when it comes to getting down, but he’s also a very unique guy to work with creatively in terms of his give and take and the way he encourages you to explore different options.

ROP: Why did you choose the band Surfer Blood as your co-headlining tour mates?

CC: I think it’s a great fit, musically. I mean, for one thing, there’s the — when considering possible bands to tour with, you have to extend the limitations of possibilities, so if a band would theoretically tour with us, as opposed to, you know, AC/DC or something, would have been fun to tour with, but they don’t take our calls. So in terms of bands that realistically would make a package with We Are Scientists, I think we’re really excited about these guys because their music is similar in a lot of ways, but doesn’t sound like We Are Scientists at all or vice versa. I think both bands have really hooky stuff. We both have kind of pretty loud guitars and exuberant drums, but otherwise they’re pretty distinct. I think one major quality that we really wanted in a co-headliner was a sort of up-tempo, exuberant, high energy that we like to get out to the audience and we like to bring to the shows. We’ve toured with more down-tempo bands in the past  with the idea in mind that it would provide more variety for people and that they can kind of rest while they watch a chilled out band and that they can get super excited when they saw us, but I think it’s better to have an entire bill that’s up-tempo and exciting.

Listen to TV En Français here:

Image by Antje Naumann.

1 Comment

  1. Samantha Sweeney

    October 18, 2014 at 10:46 pm

    We Are Scientists choosing the up-tempo opener is better than being chilled out then excited. Yes, I love me some chill music, but…not when I’m seeing someone as energetic as We Are Scientists. They should fit the mood, not necessarily the genre. Smart choices!

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